Why Does My Cat Poop So Much? Answers to Help You and Your Cat
Every living animal poops, including cats. Does your cat poop too much? What should a normal poop look like?
Usually, cat owners ask such questions because they are worried about the defecation habits of their cats.
Read on below as I’ll cover the answers of all such questions that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
Mostly cats urinate 2 to 3 times and defecate once a day. If your feline friend is defecating more than that, there may be an issue with its diet.
Low-quality diets have a high quantity of insoluble fibers.
Always choose a high-quality diet that low quantity of carbohydrates. It reduces the frequency and volume of defecation.
Young kittens poop more frequently, mostly every time they eat because they are being fed three to four time a day and their digestive system is less efficient to deal with food and its waste. This frequency decreases over time when they get older.
The amount of poop your cat produces depends on the amount of food that it eats. The cat that consumes dry food visits the litter box less frequently than the cat that consumes moist food.
How Do You Know That Your Cat Is Normal?
To know about your kitty’s defecation habits, monitor its routine for several days. You can also observe the poop of your cat while cleaning its litter box.
When you become knowledgeable about your kitty’s litter box habits, you will certainly notice that it takes more visits than usual.
It is time to pay attention to other changes, such as the color of the feces, volume, and consistency, etc.
Healthy Cat’s Poop
If your cat is pooping once a day and it is healthy, its poop should:
- Have the dark brown color
- Not smell too stinky
- Not too soft or too hard
- Be a general Tootsie Roll shape
How Often Should a Cat Poop?
What’s important to know is that defecation habits do vary from cat to cat. They have no specific frequency or timetable to defecate.
Poop frequency changes for cats when they are suffering from a disease or feeling stressed out.
As a general thumb rule, cats poop once or twice a day.
If your cat is defecating more than its normal routine, there may be a problem. Keep your cat off feed for 24 hours or feed your cat small quantities of easily digestible low-fat food.
What can this be?
Sometimes a home-prepared food like pasta with boiled chicken or boiled rice is best to see if your kitty can get back on track with its digestive health.
Ensure the accessibility of fresh water 24/7 to keep your cat hydrated. A vet may also prescribe probiotics (to support intestinal health), dewormers, or antidiarrheal agents.
Should cat poop be stinky?
Definitely, poop’s smell is always unpleasant. But it should not smell too foul that it may force you to hold your nose and run away from the room.
If you observe that your cat’s poop smells too stinky, you should discuss it with your vet.
Reasons Your Cat Is Pooping So Much
If your cat is defecating more than twice a day, there may be a health problem. This is especially true if the poops are more runny.
Diarrhea is common in cats due to various reasons, such as poor diet, a sudden change in diet, overfeeding, and digestive problems.
Sometimes, it comes and goes quickly. Other times, it may persist for days or even weeks.
Usually, diarrhea persists for 1 or 2 days and does not cause any problems in adult cats.
But if diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days, it can cause dehydration, which can make your cat even more sick or worse, become fatal. Diarrhea is more dangerous in kittens and senior cats since their growing bodies rely on proper digestion and consistent hydration.
Some of the most common causes of diarrhea in cats are below. When you consider these, you’ll see some can be easily handled, while others definitely need quick medical attention.
- Dairy products such as milk
- Intestinal worms such as roundworms
- Sudden change in diet (the type of diet or switching brand)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Dietary intolerance or allergy
- Pancreatic disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This is a chronic disease which is caused by the irritation of the digestive tract, which often leads to painful inflammation.
With the passage of time, this inflammation causes the healthy tissues to scar-like fibrous tissues.
IBD causes bloody diarrhea and increases the poop frequency more than normal.
Usually, IBD is not detected and treated completely, but there are various ways to help your feline friend.
First, you can visit your vet for a complete checkup. They may recommend a special protein diet that has a high amount of fiber.
Diet therapy, as well as medication, can be useful to solve this problem.
Anxiety or Depression
When you bring a new cat at your home, it may suffer from anxiety or become stressed out just a like us humans.
In these cases, cats can suffer from stomach problems and poop issues.
Anxiety can also be due to other various reasons, such as changes in routine, introducing a new cat with your cat, separation anxiety. Or even less interaction and play with your pet can result in a deeply sad and stressed out kitty.
In most cases, cats just need time to adjust to a new routine or home.
You can also resolve this problem by giving extra attention to your cat if you observe that boredom or loneliness is behind this behavioral change. Give it a try, and observe their pooping habits.
You can also entertain your cat by offering a special toy, tasty treat, or some catnip occasionally. This is a perfect way to relive your cat from depression or anxiety.
If it does not help, you should talk to an animal trainer or your vet. Behavioral therapy and medication can help to alleviate depression.
What Does Your Cat’s Poop Tell You?
Cat poop tells a lot about a cat’s health. Whether it is your first kitten or you just have adopted a cat, always look for a few key signs while cleaning your cat’s litter box.
Black or tarry poop?
If your cat’s poop is black or tarry, it may be due to the stomach or intestinal issues. Its frequency varies. Visit your vet right away.
If it is smelly, pudding-like poop, it may be due to inflammatory bowel disease or food intolerances. In this case, your cat may poop 2 to 3 times per day.
A gooey consistency?
If it is gooey poop and filled with mucus, its possible cause may be colitis or too less fiber in the diet. In this case, your cat may defecate multiple times in a day.
Soft or contain mucus?
If your cat’s poop is frothy, soft, greasy with mucus, it is due to the intestinal parasites. Its frequency varies.
I’ve known cats to poop more often before being diagnosed with a parasite problem. It’s as if they want to let us know there is a problem and want us to take notice something is off!
If diarrhea persists for more than three days, visit your veterinarian.
If your cat has a bloody or black colored poop, along with sluggishness, fever, or vomiting, call your veterinarian immediately.
The bloody stool may also be due to constipation but it’s important to dig further quickly.
How to Treat Excessive Pooping
Treatment of diarrhea and excessive bowl movements depends on its cause.
If the diarrhea is due to the intestinal parasites, your vet may prescribe medication, like prednisolone or metronidazole to reduce inflammation and probiotics or deworming medication to get rid of worms.
In the case of colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerance, or allergy, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet.
If you want to change the diet of your cat, introduce the new food over many days by mixing it in the old food in small quantities until your cat starts eating the new food.
What about Constipation?
If you observe that your cat is visiting the litter box multiple times, but it is not defecating, it may be suffering from constipation. Kittens especially
It will strain a lot and try to defecate, but it would not be able to produce anything. Obviously, they aren’t pooping a lot in this case but it’s a sign they need to. And you can help.
Cats get constipation due to various reasons, such as:
- Kidney problems
- Spine pain
- Feline megacolon (intestine gets large and muscles do not squeeze)
- Blockage in the intestine due to bones or string, hairball
- Colon tumors or narrow places
- Diet having low fiber quantity
If it occurs more often, visit your veterinarian. You can also feed your cat a a special diet such as mixing canned pumpkin to its regular diet or liquid diet.
Or change its food that is easier to digest. In the case of blockage, surgery can also be recommended.
We all poop, including our pets. We just want to make sure it’s the right amount with the right characteristics (like modeling clay: not too hard, not too soft) to ensure your cat’s gut is in good health.
Believe it or not, by just familiarizing yourself with how “healthy poop” should look and how often it happens, you can tell when your cat is not healthy.
Dossin, O. (2009). Chronic diarrhea in cats. Veterinary focus, 19, 2-9.
Laflamme, D. P., Xu, H., & Long, G. M. (2011). Effect of diets differing in fat content on chronic diarrhea in cats. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 25(2), 230-235. (Read here)
Stella, J., Croney, C., & Buffington, T. (2013). Effects of stressors on the behavior and physiology of domestic cats. Applied animal behaviour science, 143(2-4), 157-163. (More info)
An astute veterinarian determined to serve humanity through Animal Health, Dr. Hafeez is dedicated to helping pet families provide the utmost care for their pets through nutrition, exercise, preventative checkups and problem solving when health issues arise.